Sentinels Abandon Competitive Fortnite

Sentinels Abandon Competitive Fortnite

Prominent North American esports organization Sentinels announced on Wednesday, December 28, that it is exiting the competitive Fortnite scene. The decision sees three professional Fortnite players left without a home, which includes former world champions Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf.

Sentinels Leave Fortnite

On Wednesday, Sentinels announced the organization’s decision to exit competitive Fortnite. The news comes as a shock to many, as it sees Sentinels release Nick “Aspect” McGuire, Brian “Zyfa” Wielgolaski, and Fortnite world champion Bugha, who won’t be re-signing with Sentinels in 2023.

“As our organization maps out the future, our strategy is to focus on games that provide the opportunity to activate for our sponsors or offer team branded in-game content. Fortnite has not offered either of those. I am announcing today we will no longer be competing in Fortnite,” said Sentinels CEO Rob Moore.

“We will therefore not be resigning Bugha, Aspect or Zyfa. We thank our players, especially Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf , who brought home the Sentinels first major championship with his win in the 2019 World Cup.”

Of the three departing players, Bugha is the most recognizable, mainly due to his success at the Fortnite World Cup in 2019, when he won the title and pocketed $3 million in tournament winnings. Although he hasn’t won many tournaments since and has claimed just three events in 2022, Bugha has retained his tag as one of the top players in the scene.

Likewise, Aspect and Zyfa haven’t achieved much in 2022, but they have enjoyed some success in various North American squad tournaments, so it’s fair to say that Sentinels’ decision wasn’t related to the team’s lack of success. Instead, as revealed by Moore, Sentinels decided to leave Fortnite to focus more on games that provide more opportunities to activate sponsors or offer team-branded in-game content.

Fortnite Is Not Interesting For Sentinels

As stated by Moore, the main reason Sentinels decided to leave the Fortnite esports scene is the lack of opportunities to activate the organization’s sponsors and the inability to offer any branded in-game content. While some esports titles offer that, Fortnite doesn’t, either in the game or by offering Epic-hosted LAN events, where Sentinels would be able to sell jerseys.

Moreover, Epic Games hasn’t announced any plans to host a major Fortnite event since the World Cup in 2019, making the competitive scene far less interesting for brands.

Although Sentinels left Fortnite on Wednesday, the North American esports organization will remain involved in Apex Legends, Halo, and Valorant. All three esports titles, unlike Fortnite, run in partnership with the developer, while Apex and Halo both provide organizations opportunities to sell branded in-game content.

Sentinels’ exit from Fortnite also reflects a broader problem in the esports ecosystem, as many organizations started narrowing down the titles they’ll remain involved in. And due to the lack of investments, most organizations are picking esports titles which offer them a way to monetize their presence.

Although Fortnite is still one of the most popular esports titles in the world, it’s not as interesting as other games, which host major events and sell in-game branded items. That includes Call of Duty, where players can buy in-game skins of franchises Call of Duty League teams.

Sentinels’ exit from Fortnite is massive news, but seeing how things are going, Sentinels likely won’t be the first or the only organization to take the step, so it’s fair to expect a couple more organizations to exit competitive Fortnite.

On the other side, the release of Bugha, Zyfa, and Aspect offers any organization a perfect chance to sign the trio and enter competitive Fortnite with one of the strongest squads in the scene.